It may not be YouTube, but A-B's should prosper

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What you say: 65% of respondents to Ad Age's poll think Anheuser-Busch has a winner in its online network, which is now in the works. The rest don't expect the eight-channel network featuring comedy, reality and sports programming to help sell much beer.

As DDB hires "Saturday Night Live" talent for Anheuser-Busch's online network,, 65% of readers think the online-video push will spell success for A-B.

"As the world of branded entertainment continually evolves, this idea really seems to have a niche and will likely be a smart move for A-B," said Jay Kolbe, VP-technology practice for Weber Shandwick. For Buzz Park, account executive for KFWB News Radio, success "all depends on how effective they are at marketing the site and getting people there. There are a lot of funny websites that no one's ever heard of."

Some readers see potential in the idea, though "the best potential will come if the coolest content ends up on sites like YouTube where it can reach a large audience and receive more attention," said Jeremy Feldman, a freelance creative director and copywriter.

But, of course, there are those who bet the project won't last long. "I see it as extremely unlikely that this will do more than be ... an attempt to cash in on the success of YouTube," said Eric Nutter, owner of WebMasters. Humor may not in fact be what A-B needs. "A-B has been doing funny for a long time, and it seems that it is not the answer to the question 'How can we increase beer sales?"' said Sean Ruberg, assistant account executive for Merrick Towle Communications.
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